Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Who Cares?

Every day on NPR, and every day in the newspaper, I encounter a story on the two-month-old strike of America's movie and TV script writers. To which I respond: Who Cares?

The media are enthralled by the story, but I have yet to hear even one person at work, home, or church comment on the strike. Not a single person. Who Cares?

"There will be fewer new series on TV for the balance of this year." Who Cares? (I don't watch TV, anyway.)

"There may be fewer new movies at the cineplex." Who Cares? (I haven't found time for half the already-extant movies I'd like to see, and my favorites usually aren't from the U.S., anyway.)

If the writers never came off strike, my life wouldn't change. Would yours?

If the writers never came off strike, we could still read books. There's no book strike, and even if there were, I've got a 10-year backlog on my shelves at home . . . and another 1,000 years' worth at the library.

If the writers never came off strike, we could listen to music or go to concerts.

If the writers never came off strike, maybe more people would read my blog. Now there's something I could care about!

But what if things got really, really desperate? Perhaps we could relearn the art of conversation.


  1. Hi Arnold!

    Well out here it's big because it directly dollar to dollar effects the local economy. Jobs are lost, mortages etc. I think your right about the rest though. Maybe it would be like if Coke and Home Depot and UPS all stopped for a few months. Any effects in Atlanta?

  2. Hi Bob -

    I thought I might hear something from La-La Land.

    If the companies you mentioned all stopped operating at the same time, it would be different. All of them are spread throughout the country (or world) - for example, UPS is pretty much everywhere with 340,000 employees nationwide and is reputed to carry 7% of the nation's GDP every day. The effect throughout the country would be severe, but Atlanta is diversified enough that it wouldn't be much worse off than anywhere else.

    The writers and the ancillary jobs they support are much more localized. Maybe a better parallel than the ATL companies you mentioned would be something like a coal mine going out of business in an Appalachian town; THAT would be truly devastating for the residents of the area, but not significant for those further afield.

    And yet, I wonder how many jobs are affected by the strike (directly and indirectly), and what percentage of LA's GDP that represents.